There is no doubt at all that a shot timer is a relatively expensive firearms accessory. This is mainly because it is a niche market. While they may cost a lot, they can be extremely beneficial.
They are also far more effective than using one of the many shot timer apps available for smartphones. The best shot timer models are highly useful. They allow shooters to understand exactly how long it takes them to react when using a weapon. This will hopefully be in the context of a start command during competition, e.g., IDPA, but it could also in a real-life threat situation.
Below, we look at four well-regarded shot timer devices. From these reviews, you should find one that is worthy of timing your shooting reaction speed.
- 1 Top 4 Best Shot Timers Reviews
- 2 Best Shot Timer Buying Guide — What do you need from a Shot Timer?
- 3 So, what is the Best Shot Timer?
Top 4 Best Shot Timers Reviews
1 PACT Club Timer III – Best Compact Shot Timer
We begin with the Club Timer III from PACT. This is seen by many to be an acceptably small and compact model.
Recording and recalling shots…
This shot timer can easily be hand-held when practicing with a buddy. However, if practicing on your own, it is possible to wear the timer around your wrist or neck. Wearing it means the unit will not interfere with your shooting action.
In terms of recording and recalling shot capability, it can record a batch of up to 100 shots. It also offers other highly useful functionality such as:
- The ‘start’ buzzer, indicating the beginning of recordings, is loud and clear.
- There is a very sensitive microphone included. This works to record all shots without any issues.
The PACT Club Timer III is ergonomically designed and comes with a large LCD to show all recorded data. It also has rubberized recessed buttons. This means operation should be smooth and will minimize any wrong pressing of the buttons.
The ability to collect enough data during each shooting session is certainly yours. The information available for analysis will go a long way to helping you improve your speed and shooting action form.
Here’s a snapshot of useful features that this shot timer includes:
- Random start mode is available. This is useful for draw-practice and dry firing drills.
- Ability to display individual shots along with the total number of shots, total time taken, and split times.
- It can store up to 100 records. This can be achieved in any number of strings.
- Works using a 9-volt battery.
There is one thing that shooters need to be aware of. This is a good choice for outdoor shooting, but the microphone tends to be too sensitive for indoor range use. That is unless you have the indoor range to yourself!
Lifetime warranty is worthy of note…
Although the unit is made of fairly durable plastic, it does come with the mentioned large LCD. This means you will need to take extra care that it is not dropped or damaged.
Having said this, PACT also offers a safety net. This comes in the form of their lifetime warranty. If the unit is damaged, the only thing you need to pay for is the return shipping. PACT will then repair your product free of charge.
- Stylish design.
- Well designed, rubberized function buttons.
- Can be used with gloves on.
- Can be worn around your belt, neck, or wrist.
- Too sensitive for reliable indoor range use.
- There are more durable timers available.
2 Competitive Edge Dynamics – CED7000 Shot Activated Timer – Best Lightweight Shot Timer
This Competitive Edge Dynamics CED7000 model was first released as far back as 2006. That tells us it has certainly stood the test of time. It is an upgradeable shot timer device that will appeal to shooters as well as ROs (Range Officers).
Straightforward functionality and LCD…
The design is well laid out and comes with function buttons placed below the clear LCD. It is perhaps the smallest, lightest, and most popular shot timer currently available.
Dimensions-wise, it comes in at 3.94-inches x 1.85-inches x 0.7-inches and weighs just 2.9 ounces. What is more, it also comes with a rechargeable battery and charger. This means carrying spare batteries or having to worry about battery replacement becomes a thing of the past.
Lots and lots of shooter friendly features…
This shot timer offers multiple features that meet your timing needs. While it can be hand-carried, there is also an included lanyard. This allows shooters to attach the unit to their neck or wrist.
You will also find the CED7000 functions well in multiple environments. This shot timer can be used in both indoor and outdoor ranges as well as at home.
Convenient dry-fire mode, but not water-resistant…
More on wet weather use shortly. But first, let’s look at the advantages that the dry-fire mode offers shooters. There will be many times that you do not want to or cannot get down the range to practice.
Thanks to the convenience of the dry-fire mode, which comes with soft beeps, home practice is yours. This model includes all the required features such as Splits, Auto-start, and a Review function.
One thing to be aware of is that this unit is not water-resistant. This means that even a few splashes of rain could damage future operation.
Want even more functionality?
Containing a total of 25 features, the CED7000 is sufficient for many, but it also includes an upgrade to please. This comes in the form of a wireless connection that connects with a CED BigBoard or CED Time Keeper. Choosing this upgrade will give the ability to display results up to a 50-yard distance from the timer.
- Straightforward design.
- Easy to read Display.
- Rechargeable battery.
- Effective both in and outdoors.
- Dry-fire mode makes it ideal for dry fire practice.
- Wireless upgrade available.
- No water resistance.
3 Competition Electronics Pocket Pro II Shot Timer – Most Popular Shot Timer
This Pocket Pro II shot timer from Competition Electronics really does offer functionality that will please.
A well-established model…
The Pocket Pro II is a shot timer that has long been popular with both professional and amateur shooters. Measuring in at 3-inches wide, 5-inches long, and 1.5 inches in height, it weighs 5.5-ounces and is powered by a 9V battery. More important detail on the battery is provided below.
Not only has this timer been around for a long time, but it will also last. Made from durable plastic, this unit comes in either blue or grey color. It is conveniently sized for either hand-carry, or you can place it on your belt using the included belt clip.
Ease of use, clarity of sound…
Starting the timer is made easy thanks to an easy access side button. It comes with an adjustable sensitivity feature and an automatic shut-down function, which kicks-in after ten minutes of non-use. It also has an intuitive menu with large buttons that afford ease of navigation.
This shot timer emits a buzzer sending out 1500 Hz (105dB). What this means to you is that you will hear it regardless of the noise protection kit you are wearing.
About shots recall, and battery life…
As for results, you can record data of up to 99 shots, and four shots can be reviewed at once. It is also possible to analyze ‘forward or reverse’ with split times. All of this and more can be viewed on the clear LCD.
Battery: It should be noted the unit does not come with a battery. Although batteries are easily replaceable and will give up to 20 hours of use, it does seem to eat them. This means you should buy rechargeable batteries and/or carry spares with you.
- Well-proven, popular timer.
- Used by professionals and amateurs
- Clear LCD with multiple functions.
- Digitized echo rejection.
- 2-year warranty.
- Drains batteries quite quickly.
4 Competition Electronics Pocket Pro CEI-2800 – Best Basic Shot Timer
Due to the popularity of models offered, we must stick with Competition Electronics for our final top shot timer review. This is their Pocket Pro CEI-2800 model.
No frills, but this is what many people want…
In terms of functionality, this Pocket Pro model does not offer as much as the Pocket Pro II just reviewed. However, this is a bare-bones unit that does meet the needs of many. It is a straightforward, no-nonsense shot timer that does exactly what it is meant to.
Coming in blue color, this unit is similar in dimensions to its predecessor. It is 3.125 inches wide, 1.5 inches in height, and 4.25 inches long. Weight-wise, it is an acceptable six ounces and is also powered by a (not included) 9V battery. With a 50-shot record capacity, you still get the same 1500 Hz buzzer output.
Delayed and instant start options…
This unit comes with a delayed as well as instant start side switch that is accessible using either hand.
The maximum round record time is 199.99 seconds. While a digital echo rejection feature is not included, you still get accurate results. These can easily be read thanks to the clear LCD screen that gives large .5-inch size displayed numbers. Examples of results include the ability for a direct review of shots, split times, and shot numbers.
For those shooters who are looking at basic counting and timing functionality, the Pro Timer is a very good fit. Its operation may take a little getting used to, but once mastered, it is easy to operate and provides good result analysis.
- Straightforward, no-nonsense shot timer.
- Acceptable size, durable build.
- Auto power-down after ten minutes of inactivity.
- Clear LCD with large numbers displayed.
- Some competitors may want more.
- Menu operation takes a little getting used to.
Best Shot Timer Buying Guide — What do you need from a Shot Timer?
There is no doubt that shot timers have a place in many shooters’ kit bags (or pockets). They meet the needs of competition shooters and those who want to improve weapon action and draw speed.
Having said this, they are certainly not the cheapest accessory out there. This means careful consideration is required before investing in one.
Here are some tips as to what you should take into account when looking at shot timers.
Display Clarity and Detail
The shot timer needs to have a clear, acceptably large display. One that will provide the information you require. While this serves as a shot recording timer, it should also give start signal detail and other relevant information.
The unit you choose needs to be a help, not a hindrance. You do not want to be worrying about pressing different buttons while trying to concentrate on your actions during practice. An example here is choosing a shot timer that comes with an automatic start function.
Hands-free operation is a must. This can be achieved in a variety of ways. Some units offer belt clips; others come with wrist or neck lanyards. Consider which style best suits you.
Another option to consider is working with a shooting buddy and alternating between being the shooter and the person doing the timing. This certainly works well to improve friendly competition. It also allows you both to point out how shooting times can be improved through changes in individual action.
When looking at how sensitive shot timers are, there is one clear fact: you will rarely be alone at your shooting range.
This means your timer should be capable of reacting to your particular gun sound and not from those around you. This is where sensitivity settings come in. These settings can be particularly important for indoor range use, and shot timers with echo rejection functionality are very worthy of consideration.
As with all things that rely on batteries, length of operation is of crucial importance. Batteries should be classed as the ‘guts’ of shot timer devices. This means the one you choose needs to last an acceptable amount of time.
Disposable batteries work. But if this is your choice, then look at units that offer ease of battery replacement. A better option is to invest in a unit that comes with a rechargeable battery and charger. It is also a sensible move to have a good quality spare battery available.
While you will not be expecting to throw your shot timer around, it needs to be robust enough to withstand accidental drops or knocks. Those who practice outdoors should also look at units that offer at least some form of weather-proofing.
In terms of regular use, it also pays to check what type of warranty or guarantee you get with the purchase.
Do you need Dry-Fire Functionality?
Dry-fire functionality may not be a priority factor. However, it is certainly a good option for those who cannot regularly get to a range.
Just make double-sure that your weapon is unloaded before beginning this type of practice. Through regular drills, you will make steady progress. This will come in the form of draw speed and smoothness of action.
We have mentioned a couple of times that a shot timer is generally not cheap. While cost is a very important factor, it is not recommended to choose a unit on price alone.
Weigh your timing and recording requirements along with the functions offered. By doing so, it will help you find a unit that meets your needs at an acceptable price.
Are you also looking for a Holster?
If so, take a look at our reviews of the Best Ruger Security 9 Holster, the Best Cross Draw Holster, the Best Ankle Holsters, the Best Sig P238 Holsters, the Best Small of Back Holsters, and the Best Springfield XDS 45 Holster currently on the market.
You may also be interested in our reviews of the Best Fanny Pack Holsters or the Best Shoulder Holsters you can buy in 2023.
Okay. Back to shot timers…
So, what is the Best Shot Timer?
Shot timers can certainly not be classed as mass-choice firearms accessories. This should make your purchasing decision a little more straightforward. However, getting the balance of functionality, ease of use, and a price that suits your pocket is a must.
With these factors in mind, each of our four reviewed shot timers serves their purpose. However, choosing one from the rest would lead us to recommend the…
This one has been around for a long time and is considered one of the best shot timers ever made. It is also proven in terms of popularity with competition shooters as well as range officers. The LCD is easy to read, with function buttons underneath.
It can be used in both indoor and outdoor range situations and has the added plus of offering a dryfire practice function for home use. To finish things off, there is also the option of a wireless upgrade that is sure to please shooting clubs.
Happy (timed) shooting.